September 14, 2019

          

Twenty-fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time: Fr. George told us that God takes everyone back because he is all-forgiving, loving, merciful, and kind.

Let us ask ourselves, “Am I a person who is truly begotten by God, who is truly transformed by the forgiving love of God?  Am I a person who is able to transform the world with my forgiving love?”

Let us show we are begotten by God.  Let us be messengers of goodness, compassion, and forgiveness.  Let us be grateful for all God has given us.  And let us express that gratitude as messengers of compassion and goodness to the world because only then can we become true disciples of Christ (Audio recording, transcribed and edited).

“The grace of God is a divine enabler to do good and to live in right relationship with everyone” (Ferdinand Okorie, CMF).

“Today, as we pray for a clean heart, Luke teaches us that sharing God’s heart will catapult us into prodigal freedom” (Mary G. McGlone, CSJ).

In our society, time and silence are precious gifts.  […]  And the stark fact remains.  It is I, only I alone, who ultimately decides how I spend those hours (Sr. Mary Moloney, SP).

I need to be a more loving and forgiving person [with] others around me.  […]  I need only rely on [God] for the grace to have a change of heart (Joe Zaborowski).

Lord Jesus, may your light dispel the darkness of sin, deception, and ignorance so that all who are lost or confused may find their way to the Father’s home and be united with him in a bond of peace and friendship.  Transform my heart with your merciful love that I may point many others to the good news of pardon, peace, and new life which you offer to all who trust in you, the Good Shepherd and Savior of the world (Don Schwager).

          

September 15, 2019

               

September 8, 2019

         

Twenty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time: Fr. George told us that following Jesus is a deliberate choice, separate from all we hold dear.

Am I willing to be a person of love, generosity, mercy, and compassion in spite of everything and everyone that I am associated with?  Can I choose to do what is right?  That is the challenge Jesus is talking about.  Nothing should ever keep us from following Christ and doing God’s will.

This willingness to sacrifice things is the cross Jesus is talking about.  We have to be dead to our ego.  Sometimes we choose what’s convenient, what’s comfortable; but sometimes we have to choose what is difficult.

Jesus left behind those he loved to follow his calling.  Carrying the cross wasn’t easy.  Being mocked, locked up, and spat upon wasn’t easy.

Choosing to do the right thing— even dying to our ego— is how we become true disciples of Jesus.  Let us pray that we have the courage to choose from within, the wisdom to follow Christ, and the love to undertake the challenge of being true representatives of Jesus in this world (Audio recording, transcribed and edited).

“Our personal transformation in Christ and the fulfillment of our baptismal journey is not a program of self-improvement, but a surrender to God’s will as it is uniquely revealed to us one step at a time” (Pat Marrin).

If we want to contemplate a contemporary example of the sort of commitment Jesus is talking about, we should get to know some of the Central American migrants who abandon their homelands to seek a new life for themselves and their families.  […]  As they make their pilgrim journey, they create communities of the desperately hopeful, nurturing solidarity as a skill that allows them to survive as genuinely human beings (Mary M. McGlone, CSJ).

Let us approach this day and every day recommitted to our goals and aspirations to improve our personal lives and communities, to better the lives of those with whom we interact and, most importantly, to deepen our relationship with Christ.  Let us commit—  with courage and excitement— to live a faith-filled life we can be proud of (Steve Scholer).

The decision to follow Jesus entails giving-up of that which is most important to us and the willingness to place one’s self in an uncomfortable situation.  […]  Gracious God, help us follow the example and teachings of Jesus so that we can direct our lives to what is genuinely good and valuable (St. Jude Bible Diary).

Lord Jesus, you are my treasure, my life, and my all.  There is nothing in this life that can outweigh the joy of knowing, loving, and serving you all the days of my life.  Take my life and all that I have and make it yours for your glory now and forever (Don Schwager).

          

          

          

          

September 8, 2019

               

*Today Fr. George commissioned Donata & Henry Morris and Marvin Murray as Eucharistic Ministers.  Thanks for heeding the call of service!

September 1, 2019

       

Twenty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time: Fr. George told us that being a true disciple of Jesus requires a new attitude.  Giving thanks and praise to God for our gifts and talents is paramount, but heeding the call of service is just as important.

Jesus tells us, “Give freely.  Don’t expect anything in return.”  Service is about having the courage to do for others without expecting anything in return, for “it is when you give of yourself that you truly give” (Kahlil Gibran).

We are thought to be those people through whom God smiles on the earth, through whom God speaks to the world.  Am I a person through whom the world experiences the bounty of God, the goodness of God, the mercy of God?  Am I a true disciple of Jesus?  Am I giving freely so that everyone who comes into contact with me will feel richer than before?

When we do that for others, we become true disciples of Jesus (Audio recording, transcribed and edited).

“Jesus chose his place among the poor, the powerless, and the outcast of his time; and he never missed a chance to remind people that God was to be found there as well” (Pat Marrin).

Jesus is clear that we are all brothers and sisters, children of the one God, kin to one another.  […]  Every table to him is a family table where people talk honestly to one another (Sr. Mary Moloney, SP).

“When we abandon our ‘look at me’ behavior and discover the delights of our differences, humility will become a natural attitude; and we’ll find ourselves not only comfortable with diversity, but also delighting in it” (Mary M. McGlone).

To learn to delight in that selfless generosity of which Christ is our greatest teacher and example is to learn something of that divine charity which he calls us all not only to experience but also, by his grace, to share (Gregory Pearson, OP).

Humility can come from experiences in life in which suffering has occurred.  […]  I pray for myself and for others who suffer to recognize the value of humility in this experience of suffering and to have my/our hearts and eyes opened to learn, be humbled, and be changed (Cindy Constanzo).

The humble person recognizes the goodness and giftedness of others.  […]  Lord, grant us the grace to free ourselves [from] pride and arrogance.  And may we learn the humility of Jesus (St. Jude Bible Study).

Lord Jesus, you became a servant for my sake to set me free from the tyranny of sin, selfishness, and conceit.  Help me to be humble as you are humble and to love freely and graciously all whom you call me to serve (Don Schwager).

          

       

          

September 1, 2019

               

August 25, 2019

         

Twenty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time: Fr. George told us that pain, agony, and suffering awaited Jesus on his journey preaching and teaching discipleship.  The path wasn’t easy, but Jesus was willing to pass through the narrow door to show that salvation is possible.  With courage rooted in God, we can help ourselves and others to know and be like Christ, to be messengers of God’s goodness.

“God wants us for himself and, when we do not resist that love, he will himself lead us on the path to his wide-open pastures” (Peter Hunter, OP).

Jesus says that the gate is narrow on the one hand but also wide open to anyone who seeks God with love, even if they are an outsider.  […]  The real presence we hope to find at church may be measured not by who is there but by who is missing, not only from our faith community but from our family table and circle of social outreach and welcome (Pat Marrin).

The gate Jesus has in mind is himself.  Jesus immersed himself into a life of self-giving and the wider challenge of loving our neighbors.  Entry through the narrow gate will require us to do the same (Sara Bennett).

The guest list is restricted to people who don’t want it limited.  The only people locked out are those who think they’ve earned the special key that gets them in and keeps the riffraff out (Mary M. McGlone, CSJ).

To many, the narrow door of Christ is a big challenge.  But to those who have faith and have been converted to the love of God, the narrow door widens.  Lord Jesus, may we grow in faith and love of you (St. Jude Bible Diary).

Lord Jesus, may I never doubt your guiding presence and your tender love and mercy toward me.  Through the gift of your Spirit fill me with persevering faith and courage to trust you always in all things and in every circumstance I find myself in.  May your love set my heart aflame with love for you who are my all (Don Schwager).

Dear Lord, heal me from desires to have what some do not.  Help me to want what is good for all people.  Open my ears and my heart so that I might be able to separate the wheat from the chaff.  Give me the strength and courage to live the life to which I am called (Mike Cherney, PhD).

       

August 25, 2019

               

*Thanks to Patti Hyland, interim-secretary, for a job well done!  Barbara Chesshir will take over as parish secretary beginning Tuesday, August twenty-seventh.  Welcome!

August 17, 2019

       

Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time: Fr. George told us that bearing witness requires courage.  “Do I close my eyes and compromise my values?”  Like Jesus, we have to be baptized with the pain and agony of the cross to do good, think big, and give the world our best.  “Courage comes through the heart to set the world ablaze.”

[W]e are invited to look at prayer… as the deepest expression of our ever-growing relationship with God.  […]  Prayer… grounds us in the grace we need to move unjust judges and is the impetus for every other good work (Mary M. McGlone, CSJ).

The revolution Jesus proposed was a revolution of the heart, the abandonment of self-interest for the sake of others.  […]  The baptism of fire he anguished over was his decision to lay down his life for his friends (Pat Marrin).

If we are to truly live out Jesus’s radical message and work together to reconcile our divisions and conflicts, we must be open to the prompting of the Spirit in our lives and let the fire of continued transformation do its work on our hearts (Sara Bennett).

Lord Jesus, may the fire of your love consume me and transform my life that I may truly desire nothing more than life with you.  Fill me with the power of your Holy Spirit that I may always seek to please you and do your will (Don Schwager).

“Lord, may we be steadfast in working for your kingdom, even when faced with strong and violent opposition” (St. Jude Bible Diary).

“[M]ay we not fear the repercussions of running where God calls us, knowing that we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses (Jay Carney).

          

August 18, 2019

               

August 11, 2019

          

Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time: Fr. George reminded us that Jesus encouraged his disciples to store up lasting treasures.

“But what have you done?”  This is what Jesus is asking of us.

What have you done to further the kingdom of God?  What have you done to bring the message of goodness to the world?  What have you done so that everyone around you will experience who your God is?  What have you done so that, where you’re walking, everyone feels joyous instead of eager to walk away?

That change, that transformation— getting involved, doing things because you’ve had a change of heart— can only be led by love, only be guided by faith.  That is why the first and the second readings are talking about faith being that which we cannot see, hoping for things we have not yet experienced.

Do I have that kind of faith?  Do I believe— even though things look ordinary around me— that I can make a difference in this mundane world?  That I can become a person of love, a person who is there for others?  Someone who says, “My God is not here.  Let me get involved?”

Faith is knowing that, even though I cannot see, God is there for me.

Do I believe that?  Do I see that?  Do I continue to live a life of faith?  Do I continue to live a life of love?  Do I continue to bring the goodness of Jesus into the world?  Do I continue to be a true disciple of Jesus so that the world is a better place because of me?

My little light of love can dispel the darkness of the world (Audio recording, transcribed and edited).

“Truth is not an idea but a relationship and, as we seek God, we are on a learning curve toward greater intimacy, which is dynamic and filled with surprises” (Pat Marrin).

What kind of gift requires us to sell our possessions and give alms and, in that giving, make the gift the most important treasure of our heart?  […]  The gift of the kingdom is not a gift given for our personal use, but one entrusted to us as stewards— our job is to serve, not exercise power (Sara Bennett).

Faith calls us to move beyond our current boundaries— be those mental, physical, theological, or spiritual.  Today’s readings lead us to contemplate the kind of faith that puts us on the road with Christ (Mary McGlone, CSJ).

Being ready means, in our day, that our faith in God needs to be accompanied by good deeds that advance his reign of justice, love, and mercy.  […]  Lord, grant us the grace to translate our love and faith in you into concrete actions for others (St. Jude Bible Diary).

Lord Jesus, you alone are my treasure and the joy of my heart.  May there be nothing in this world that holds me back from giving you my all— you are my all, my life and joy now and forever (Don Schwager).

“May you find me eager for your coming, Lord, fully engaged in being one with you, here and now, where your people most need this simple disciple to be” (Andy Alexander, SJ).

          

August 11, 2019

               

August 4, 2019

               

Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time: Fr. George asked, “What’s the priority— wealth or relationships?”  Those who love and are loved are rich beyond measure, so don’t let possessions become an obsession.  Love is the only treasure worthy of heaven.

Wealth and possessions can make us blind to our need of God and the needs of others.  […]  Too often we give out of our excess rather than the kind of generosity that costs us (Sara Bennett).

Jesus [said], “Life does not consist in possessions.”  Hopelessly shortsighted, [we ignore] the fact that [we have] already received an incomparable inheritance in the very gift of life (Mary M. McGlone, CSJ).

We know that we can’t take wealth with us.  But Jesus suggests that there is something we can take from this life into eternity.  We can store up treasure in heaven by living lives rich in relationships and loving service (Pat Marrin).

Lord Jesus, free my heart from all possessiveness and from coveting what belongs to another.  May I desire you alone as the one true treasure worth possessing above all else.  Help me to make good use of the material blessings you give me that I may use them generously for your glory and for the good of others (Don Schwager).

“Life is God’s gift to me; what I do with my life is my gift to God” (Anonymous, n. d.).

          

          

        

August 4, 2019

               

*Photos: August 4, 2013; August 5, 2012; August 7, 2011; & August 8, 2010

August 6, 2019